Donald Trump speaks like a sixth grader: Study
New York : Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump may have mesmerised his fans with provocative speeches but researchers have found that in terms of use of words and grammar, he can be compared to a sixth grader.
Most presidential candidates in the US are using words and grammar typical of students in grades six to eight, though Donald Trump tends to lag behind the others, the study said.
For the study, the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute (LTI) did a readability analysis of presidential candidate speeches.
A historical review of their word and grammar use suggests that all five candidates in the analysis -- Republicans Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (who has since suspended his campaign), and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders -- have been using simpler language as the campaigns have progressed, the researchers said.
Again, Trump is an outlier, with his grammar use spiking in his Iowa Caucus concession speech and his word and grammar use plummeting again during his Nevada Caucus victory speech, according to the study.
A comparison of the candidates with previous presidents showed president Abraham Lincoln outpacing them all, boasting grammar at the 11th grade level, while president George W. Bush's fifth grade grammar was below even that of Trump.
"Assessing the readability of campaign speeches is a little tricky because most measures are geared to the written word, yet text is very different from the spoken word," said one of the researchers Maxine Eskenazi in an official statement.
"When we speak, we usually use less structured language with shorter sentences," Eskenazi noted.
The researchers used a readability model called REAP, which looks at how often words and grammatical constructs are used at each grade level.
Based on vocabulary, campaign trail speeches by past and present presidents -- Lincoln, Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama -- were at least on the eighth grade level, while the current candidates ranged from Trump's seventh grade level vocabulary to Sanders' 10th grade level. 
In terms of grammar, the current candidates generally had scores between sixth and seventh grades, with Trump just below sixth grade level, the study said.
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Trump, Clinton score big victories, Rubio drops out
Trump won Republican primary victories in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois, while Clinton won the Florida and Ohio primaries and with a win in North Carolina completed her sweep of Southern states 
Republican Donald Trump had another great night with three major victories and a near tie, while a big loss in his home state of Florida prompted Marco Rubio to drop his White House bid.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton too scored major wins in Florida and North Carolina and in a crucial victory, she stopped self-styled Democratic Socialist rival Bernie Sanders in his tracks in the industrial Midwest by taking Ohio.
Trump won Republican primary victories in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois and was in a virtual tie with closest rival Ted Cruz in Missouri getting at least 159 more delegates and taking his total to 619 from 18 wins.
However, his loss in Ohio to its Governor, John Kasich made it more difficult for the brash billionaire to reach the 1,237 delegates he needs to capture the Republican nomination without a heated contest. Cruz has 394 delegates, Rubio 167 and Kasich 136.
But Trump's victory in the biggest contest of the night, taking all off Florida's 99 delegates forced Rubio out of the race and upended Republican establishment's plans to get united against the real estate tycoon. 
"This was a great evening," he said in his primary night address describing himself proudly as a candidate of the angry and disaffected. 
"There is great anger," Trump said. "Believe me, there is great anger." 
"We have to bring our party together," he said urging party unity amid growing speculation about the potential of a convention fight. "We have to bring it together."
Conceding defeat, Rubio warned that Trump's politics of division will leave America a "fractured nation".
"America is in the middle of a real political storm, a real tsunami and we should have seen this coming," he said. "While we are on the right side," he said, "this year, we will not be on the winning side."
Trump on the other hand congratulated the Florida senator "for having run a tough campaign".
"He is tough," Trump said. "He is smart and he has got a great future."
On the Democratic side, Clinton won the Florida and Ohio primaries and with a win in North Carolina completed her sweep of Southern states where she has enjoyed strong support from African-American voters.
"We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November," Clinton said in a victory speech in West Palm Beach, Florida.
She said that by the end of the night she would have two million more votes than Sanders, and hold a lead of more than 300 in the delegate count.
Even in defeat, Sanders delivered his standard campaign speech, decrying the influence of big money in politics and vowed that "billionaires would have to pay their fair share".
Describing "Rubio's demise" as "the last gasp of the Republican reboot", the Washington Post said "Years of carefully laid plans to repackage the Republican Party's traditional ideas for a fast-changing country came crashing down" with him quitting the race.
The New York Times said Rubio's exit had "spoiled the Republican buffet". Kasich, it suggested, "is the best of the remaining three candidates, but has little to no chance of pulling past either of the other two in the delegate count.
"Those two, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, are merely different flavours of rancid fare," said the influential daily which has endorsed Kasich and Clinton for their parties' nominations.


About Face: US Military Seeks Historic Overhaul of Justice System

Pentagon aims to fundamentally reform the way America’s men and women experience justice while in uniform



After years of concern over sexual assault in the military, the Defense Department has proposed the most far-reaching reforms to its justice system in decades.


The proposal, introduced with little notice in late December, would fundamentally change the way America's men and women experience justice while in uniform.


"It's a potential sea change," said Charles Erdmann, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the military's highest court. "These would be the biggest reforms in 30 years."


For the first time, the Pentagon would issue sentencing guidelines for military crimes. All convicted service members would have a right to appeal. Military judges would determine sentences, replacing a power long held by juries made up of soldiers with little or no legal experience.


But Congressional critics of the military justice system noted that neither the legislation, nor the 1,300-page review that prompted it, addressed a fundamental issue: the role of commanders.

In court martials, senior commanders decide whether to press charges, select juries and in some cases provide clemency for troops under their command, raising concerns about the impartiality of prosecutions.


"It is telling that a supposedly holistic review of the military justice system completely ignores the role of the commander," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York who has battled with Pentagon leaders over changes to its code. "Until we reform the foundation of the military justice system to remove bias, all efforts to fix its shortcomings will be incomplete."


Some Congressional insiders are skeptical of the military's intent. If the Pentagon manages to obtain approval for the bill, it will be harder to make a case for further changes, such as removing military commanders from making decisions on criminal cases. There is also doubt about the bill's chances. It's a complex piece of legislation moving through the Hill during an election year. Key players among Republicans and Democrats who have supported the Pentagon on military justice issues have yet to weigh in on the proposal.


A Pentagon spokesman said the proposed legislation did not address the issue of the commanders' role because a previous Congressionally established panel recommended no changes.


"The current review focused on measures to improve the current process rather than on revisiting the underlying fundamental policy," said Army Lt. Col. Joe Sowers, a Department of Defense spokesman.


Military leaders hallow their justice system. First adopted during the Revolutionary War, some parts have existed unchanged for more than 200 years. Even today, sailors can be put on a diet of bread and water for minor infractions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


The code is a means to convey both justice and military discipline. For instance, soldiers can be tried for going AWOL (punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a dishonorable discharge) or for disrespecting an officer (up to one year in prison and a bad conduct discharge).


They can also face trial for crimes ranging from kiting checks to rape and murder. Military courts can try soldiers for crimes that have no direct connection to military service 2014 a soldier assaulting a local resident during an off-base bar fight, for example. Commanders argue that they need such power to ensure order and discipline in military ranks.


Over the decades, military leaders have wrestled with the tension inherent in the system. The last big overhaul resulted from complaints during World War II when, all told, more than 1.7 million troops were tried in court martials. Soldiers fighting for democratic freedoms found themselves subject to a judicial system that many felt was arbitrary and unjust.


"At the end of the war, many people were mad as hell," said Fred L. Borch, III, a historian for the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps and former chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions. "No matter what they did or what they said, they were found guilty."

The current proposal comes after years of controversy over the military's handling of sexual assault.


"The Invisible War," a 2012 documentary, provoked outrage after finding that active duty female soldiers serving in combat zones were more likely to be raped by a comrade than killed by an enemy.


A year later, in a closely watched case, Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin vacated a court martial conviction of a subordinate officer for sexually assaulting a civilian medical worker, prompting a review by then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.


In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, a survey estimated that nearly 19,000 service members had been subjected to "unwanted sexual contact." That compared to 6,131 official reports of sexual assault that year. About 1,600 cases resulted in some sort of action for sexual assault violations.


The Defense Department responded with a barrage of blue-ribbon commissions and fact-finding bodies. Congress imposed more than three dozen changes to the military codes for sexual assault.

Rape victims now have the right to a special attorney to represent them in court. Their sexual histories cannot be used by defense counsel. Most significantly, military commanders were stripped of their abilities to dismiss sentences in felony cases, including sexual assault.


But senior military officials feared that many of the changes focused on sex crimes without regard to the rest of the system. For instance, survivors of attempted murder or aggravated assault do not have guaranteed access to a special representative in court. In addition, there were concerns that the system had tipped in favor of victims over the accused.


In 2013, Hagel approved a "holistic review" of the entire military justice system. Andrew Effron, a former chief judge, was appointed to lead the effort.


The result addressed many long-standing concerns. Unlike in civilian courts, military juries determine both guilt and the sentence for an offender. But the members of the panel, enlisted men and officers picked by the military officer who convened the court martial, are not required to have any legal training. The Pentagon proposal would give military judges a more central role, allowing them to determine punishments and discharges.


In addition, the Pentagon plan would set out typical minimum and maximum punishments over the coming years to provide guidance to judges. And the size of military juries 2014 which can vary from five people to 15 or more 2014 would be standardized.


The reforms also provide that all offenders can appeal their convictions 2014 a right previously guaranteed only to those who received more than a year in prison, or a punitive discharge.

Don Christensen, president of Protect Our Defenders, a group dedicated to improving military handling of sexual assault, acknowledged that the proposed changes were far-reaching.

But the central issue of the commander's influence, he said, remained untouched.


"There's a debate raging in the halls of Congress and the media and it's not addressed," said Christensen, the former chief prosecutor for the Air Force. "That's a problem."


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